Cloud Hosting Vs Dedicated Server Hosting: How Do They Compare?

Cloud computing is becoming a key part of business and a hot topic for IT service providers and businesses alike with several Fortune 500 companies adopting it as the way forward. If you are a business owner and haven’t already tapped into the trend, you might wonder how hosting and storing your data in the cloud compares with the traditional route of hosting it through dedicated servers.

Cloud Hosting Vs Dedicated Server Hosting

It’s time to look at Cloud Hosting vs. Dedicated Server Hosting. What do these mean for your business, big or small?

What is Cloud Hosting?

Relatively new but rapidly gaining in popularity, cloud hosting means the server is outsourced and is run on virtualized software. To the user, it’s as though they were using the usual dedicated server, but it’s actually several virtual servers. For the business owner, cloud hosting means paying only for what you use and not having to purchase and maintain dedicated physical servers at the place of business.

What is Dedicated Server Hosting?

This is the traditional route taken by businesses requiring hosting of just about anything, from highly interactive websites to web apps or massive databases. For the business owner, dedicated server hosting means buying or leasing a server from a provider, and paying monthly charges at rates that vary according to the desired features (bandwidth, data storage, etc.).

How else do these differ?


Why do you need to think about scalability? It’s a question of how much your server can handle. The number of users will determine the load on your server and the server specs will determine how many users are too many.

Before cloud computing existed, the convention was to scale vertically by adding more RAM, CPU power, etc. However, there is a physical limit to how much you can scale vertically in an organization. As the business grows (or experiences downturns), being able to scale horizontally becomes more important.

Cloud hosting can easily do this because it does not depend on dedicated servers, but rather on many virtual servers. Your cloud service provider will simply add updates, hardware, and uses technologies in its power to balance loads across several servers. For the business, this means knowing that the server won’t crash due to large loads and that the server(s) effortlessly respond to changes in needs. It also takes very little time to do the scaling. In contrast, dedicated servers are usually more limited as they require adding more physical hardware and servers, which may take a little more time.


Since data is stored and retrieved from multiple machines in cloud hosting, even if one of the servers crashes unexpectedly, the website/web app for the business won’t crash. At worst, the website might experience a slight slowdown, but other servers kick in to correct this quickly.

Under dedicated server hosting, there is a higher risk of the business being affected (the website/web app) if the dedicated server(s) crashes. This is particularly true for single dedicated servers. If a crash happens, it can also take time to get the server repaired and up and running again. That said, providers of dedicated server hosting have reduced this risk significantly by operating an independent multi-homed network on redundant routers. In that way, they are able to ensure almost perfect uptime and exceptional throughput for clients.


For the business owner, the cost advantage of cloud hosting is that you only get charged for the amount of storage you use and the time for which you use it. Typically, under dedicated server hosting, you pay a monthly fee for hosting where the cost is determined by paying for the features you want.

If your business website sees variable traffic, you may be better off going for cloud hosting so that you can access the bandwidth and service space only when needed (rather than paying for them all the time as part of the features of your dedicated server hosting package). Another disadvantage of dedicated server hosting is that your storage or data transfer is capped at the selected level for the month, which may be difficult if your business is likely to have surges in these needs from month to month, or even within the month.

However, if you want high bandwidth, significant disc space and SQL storage regularly, you may be better off with a package through dedicated server hosting.

This article was written by Tyler Farell, a freelance writer, discuss about the difference between cloud server and dedicated server hosting.